Underage drinking in the United States is common, and cause for concern.
As many as 20 percent of students in the 8th grade and 40 percent of students in the 12th grade consume alcohol.
Underage drinking is associated with impaired judgment, making poor decisions, driving under the influence, and future drinking problems. [Teen Drinking]
The problem may be made worse by a new product available this summer: alcopops, a wolf in sheep’s clothing. These alcopops are flavored beverages containing distilled alcohol, usually vodka or whiskey.
They are classified as malt beverages, much like beer, which allowed them to market widely both in magazines and online, and to be sold in a greater number of retail outlets.
The real danger lies in the fact that alcopops are usually fruity and carbonated, tasting and packaged to look like colas or fruit drinks that are marketed to kids.
They can be easily confused with beverages that are appropriate for children, and are becoming increasingly popular with underage drinkers. Adults believe alcopops can encourage underage drinking, and almost all adults support strongly the placement of warning labels on these beverages.
You should talk with your child about these beverages and about the use of alcohol in general. Frequent conversations help reinforce your policies and stance on underage drinking.